Looking for a Church Father



In a bulletin a couple months back it was written:

One of the holy Fathers compares the heart to a rich garden. This garden, if neglected, is soon filled with noxious weeds. Foreign seeds will be carried there by the wind, and unless you pluck up the young plants by the roots, you will soon have a forest to contend with.

Does anyone know who this Father was and were he wrote this?



I think I found where the insertion in your bulletin came from. It came from an article about preparing for confession by making a good examination of conscience. But it does not state who the holy father is in reference to this comment.



Yep, that’s it verbatim. I must admit, I’m a little disappointed - I thought it was written by the Priest(s) at the Church where the bulletin was from; instead it’s just downloaded from the internet. It’s still a good piece, but it has lost that hometown feel. I guess my idea of contacting them to see where the Priest documented this from is out. :stuck_out_tongue:

O.K., so anyone know who this Father was?




A young Orthodox Christian was staying at one of the monasteries on Mt Athos. He was not able to accept the necessity of confession, so the monk he was talking to suggested they go and talk to Elder Paisios, a holy monk who lived in a Kalyva not far from the monastery. When they arrived, Elder Paisios was in the garden doing some weeding. When they asked him what he was doing he said he was “confessing” his garden. By digging in the soil and removing the weeds while they were still small and had not yet developed deep roots, it enabled his garden to flourish. If he did not “confess” his garden regularly and the weeds were able to become established, then it took a lot more effort to remove them and much more care needed to be taken to avoid causing damage to the plants that belonged in the garden in he process.

Without even having a chance to ask his question of the elder, the young man received the answer he needed to hear, and after receiving the elder’s blessing they returned to the monastery.

I know this isn’t what you were asking but I thought you might appreciate it nonetheless. I’d say Elder Paisios was familiar with the same Church Father which you seek.




Thanks. This could be it - who knows. It sounds very similar - enough to be paraphrased into what was written. Or, as you mentioned, Elder Paisios could have been conveying what that unknown (unknown to us, that is) Father had taught.

Do you know when Elder Paisios lived? Or a biography on him?


He was born in 1924 and died in 1994, a few years before I was received into the Church :frowning: I’ve visited the Cell where he spent most of his years on Mt Athos and been blessed to meet many people whose lives were touched by the Elder.

Introduction to the Writings of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
A Brief Life of Elder Paisios


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